"When it's 40 - 30 degrees you know, it's a blessing just to be able to know I can get some heat." Daisy Hayes was in shock when she opened her utility bill this month. "I said oh my goodness- how am I going to pay this bill?"
Last month, Tallahassee felt the coldest December 2010 on record ... forcing folks to bundle up and boost the thermostat. On January 7th, Hayes' bill caught up with her ... totaling 311.14 ... up almost 100 dollars from the month before.
Every month, Elder Care Services helps people pay their utility bills through the federally funded Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program, assists low income seniors who are in crisis situations.
"I was thinking oh my lights (are) going to be turned off, I'm going to be in the cold.", "In the winter time you really need your heat you know.. And when you're living on a fixed income..."
The Area Agency on Aging of North Florida is able to divide around 45-hundred dollars to 14 different counties that go to organizations like ECS.
But they're usually tapped out by the 4th or 5th of each month. When government money runs out, the ECS relies on the community to lend a hand ... and keep people like Hayes warm.
"To know that you don't have to be in the cold- what a wonderful blessing."
Elder Care services say it receives about 5 phone calls a day and even has seniors showing up in person pleading for assistance with their utility bills.
Lean how to help:
Elder Care Services, Inc.
2518 West Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Phone: (850) 921-5554
Fax: (850) 921-0082